Joint Publication from Save the Children, FAO and ECHO on Participatory Rangeland Management in the specific context of Ethiopia is available on line.


‘The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) proposed the Integrated Agricultural Research for Development (IAR4D) as an innovation system framework that should form the base upon which transformation of agricultural research in SSA should be considered. The IAR4D concept aims to deviate from the traditional linear configuration of ARD by encouraging the engagement of multiple actors along the commodity value chain for the promotion of the process of innovation in the agricultural system. In IAR4D, innovation evolves through continuous interaction among players, utilisation of feedback, analysis and incorporation of lessons learned between different processes. This essentially draws onthe knowledge of relevant actors at each stage. The framework creates a network that considers the technical, social, and institutional constraints in an environment that facilitates learning with the ultimate aim of generating innovation rather than mere research products or technologies. IAR4D cannot but be complex, and would certainly require fundamental changes in the wider institutional and policy environment in order for it to promote the process of innovation.’ Monty Jones Executive Director FARA

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Read today in the New Agriculturalist

Livestock and pensions provide the main source of livelihood for the farmers living around the Hoachanas settlement situated in the Kalahari Sandveld of Namibia. Small stock, such as goats and sheep, are crucial for food and income, with the area too dry for crop and feed production. But mortality of animals due to dry season feed shortages and poor animal health are a major constraint. However, an initiative to bring partners together to discuss and implement opportunities to improve production has stimulated a public-private partnership (PPP) to provide animal health services and inputs.

The initiative, supported by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), was set up in 2008, as part of a wider Livestock and Livelihoods (LILI) project*, to help facilitate discussions amongst relevant stakeholders to improve livestock markets in southern Africa. The approach, known as an Innovation Platform (IP), to bring partners together to identify bottlenecks and opportunities and collectively generate solutions is working in three countries, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

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Read on People Daily Online website (China)

Climate change in Africa and the world at large has impacted on many fronts resulting in drought and floods hence resulting in food shortage.

Consequently, poverty levels have increased leading to low development among many developing nations.

It is against this backdrop that leading agriculture and climate scientists, policymakers, farmers, and development experts from around the world will gather in Nairobi from today to focus on the threat of climate change to the global food supply.

The conference is jointly convened by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP).

Speakers are drawn from World Agro forestry Centre (ICRAF), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), UNEP, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The conference conveners noted that if climate change is not checked, it could negatively affect efforts to reduce poverty and hunger.

This would threaten the stability of entire nations as farmers struggle in hotter and more uncertain conditions to feed a population set to reach 9 billion people by 2050. Less rain and changing rainfall patterns have resulted in low yields.

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, one in three people living in Sub-Saharan Africa were chronically hungry in 2007.

The region is also hardest hit by extreme poverty, harboring 75 percent of people worldwide that live on less then a dollar a day.

Since 2007, erratic rainfall has led to increased food shortages in southern Africa where droughts damaged and destroyed maize crops.

A study by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) warns that in Africa alone, over the next four decades higher temperatures and more frequent droughts could depress wheat yields by over 30 percent, rice by 15 percent, and maize by 10 percent.

Yet FAO has projected that over this same period food production globally must increase by 70 percent to feed a population expected to reach 9.1 billion people.

IFPRI found that neutralizing the effects of climate change on productivity requires investing at least 7 billion dollars per year on research, irrigation, and rural roads.

The conference comes in the wake of talks in Copenhagen last December, where high-level recognition of the link between climate change and food security was reinforced.

In a month’s time, climate change negotiators reconvene in Bonn, Germany to continue discussions to reach consensus on a new global agreement for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to their impacts.

African leaders have been particularly frustrated by the failure of negotiators to give adequate attention to the food security-climate change connection and have joined other developing country officials in declaring: “no agriculture, no agreement.”

Scientists blame climate change for causing more intense and frequent droughts, floods, hurricanes, rising sea levels, and other negative effects in different parts of the world.

The cheapest and most efficient way to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change on poor nations like Kenya is to have lots of trees. Trees absorb excess carbon dioxide and other harmful gases from the atmosphere. But when trees are cut down, this process is halted.

The government recently, launched the third phase of tree planting in bid to reclaim Kenya’s water tower the Mau forest and forest cover.


News from from ScienceDev.Net site

Preserving biodiversity may be the goal of conservationists and environmental activists, but preserving biomass is a more important priority for the poor, says a literature review.

The finding, which researchers said was unexpected, was the result of one of three reviews presented to a symposium this week (28-29 April).

“People just don’t care about biodiversity,” Craig Leisher, of the US-based Nature Conservancy, told SciDev.Net at the meeting, ‘Linking biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction: what, why and how?’ which was held at the UK’s Zoological Society of London.

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Vacancy Number: LWRS/PLE/04/10
Department: People, Livestock and Env.
Duration: 3 years

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) seek to recruit a highly competent and dynamic scientist to broaden our capacity to address natural resource management and agricultural productivity issues related to the interactions between water, livestock,and crops in West Africa. The position will conduct research at local through to landscape/regional scales to assess and provide solutions for the integrated management of water and livestock resources. The position will be based in IWMI’s West Africa office in Accra, Ghana or Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and reports to IWMI’s Theme Leader on Productive Water Use and ILRI’s Theme Director on People, Livestock and the Environment.

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Livestock have an important role in improving the nutritional status of low-income households, they confer status, are of cultural importance and create employment opportunities within and beyond the immediate household.  The increasing demand for animal protein in low- and middle-income countries provides an opportunity for the rural poor to improve their livelihoods but the nature of livestock farming is determined by policy and institutional frameworks that rarely favour the poor.”

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The effects of climate change – such as drought, livestock deaths and resource conflict – may be all too apparent for the pastoralists of northern Kenya, but there is much to be done to explain the true causes

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On 12 April, Bruno Gerard presented an update on the SLP to the ILRI Board of Trustees. See the presentation:

The importance and consequences of animal feed and feeding has largely been under-estimated and under-valued by donors, development agencies and policy makers alike. To rectify this, FAO is in the process of forming a network for all those with an interest in animal feeds and feeding. The objective is to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and information. It is envisaged that the network will function through the FAO Feed Portal which will be operational in the coming months, and  will provide a platform for debate on a wide range of  animal nutrition related issues, for example: research and development in developing countries, challenges and opportunities in meeting the demand for feeds; the  importance of animal nutrition in increasing livestock productivity and  mitigating greenhouse gases and pollutants from livestock systems, and preparing adequate responses to ongoing global warming.

The long term goal is to launch a Global Feed Initiative and it is hoped that discussions through this network will pave the way for achieving this.

Those working primarily on animal feeds and feeding are invited to join the network by providing the following information to Harinder Makkar (

FAO,  Animal Production Officer (Animal Nutrition).

  1. Name (essential):
  2. Email (essential):
  1. Contact details (optional) including postal address, telephone and fax numbers, website.
  2. Primary area of interest/expertise  (please do not list more than three areas) (essential)
  3. CV and List of Publications in the last 5 years (optional)
  4. Are you:

a) willing to have your details listed publically on the FAO Feed Portal, or

b) would you prefer they remain restricted to FAO.

If interested please  provide the above information by the end of April . Please feel free to pass this invitation onto other colleagues who you believe may wish to join the Network.

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